How to Make Paper Baskets

African Tutsi Basket
Follow these steps to create the African Tutsi Paper Basket.
Follow these steps to create the African Tutsi Paper Basket.

Make an African Tutsi Basket that resembles the grass baskets used by the Tutsi people of Africa.

The Tutsi people make these baskets by coiling long strands of dried grass around and around, binding them together with thinner strands. The baskets have lids and are used to hold grain. Hold your own treasures in your own basket!

What You'll Need:

  • 2 sheets 9x12-inch red construction paper
  • 3 sheets 9x12-inch beige construction paper
  • 5-inch plate
  • 9-inch plate


  • Clear tape
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Scissors
  • Craft glue

Step 1: Cut 8 strips of red construction paper, each 12 inches long and 3/4 inch wide. With 2 pieces of the beige construction paper, glue the 12-inch-long edges of the pieces together (overlap the edges a little). After the glue has dried, cut 4 strips 16 inches long and 1/2 inch wide.

Step 2: Glue 2 red strips together at the middle to form a cross. Do this with all the other red strips until you have 4 red crosses. Place the 4 crosses on top of each other, and fan them out evenly. Glue them in place -- they should look like a star.

Step 3: Use the 5-inch plate to draw a circle on the other piece of red construction paper. Cut out the circle, and glue it to the center of the star. This forms the bottom of your basket. Fold the rays of the star up at the edge of the circle.

Step 4: Tape a beige strip horizontally across the bottom of 1 ray. Weave the beige strip over and under the rays all the way around. Remove the tape, and glue the ends of the beige strip together. Hold ends together until glue begins to dry. Repeat with remaining beige strips. Push beige strips close together before gluing.

Step 5: After you've finished weaving the beige strips, fold over and glue the red ends to the inside of the basket, forming a rim. Make a pointed lid for the basket by using the 9-inch plate to trace a circle on the last sheet of beige construction paper.

Step 6: Cut out the circle, then cut a pie wedge out of the circle (the bigger the wedge, the taller the lid). Overlap and glue the cut ends together.

Make the lid of the African Tutsi Paper Basket.

Now you've got your very own African Tutsi paper basket -- what will you put inside? Note: If you don't want to use red and beige paper, use any 2 colors you'd like.

Looking for more fun paper craft projects? Check out these pages: